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January 2001

January 31, 2001

Half-Point Interest Rate Cut
Time to celebrate the cut with more memory for your computer?
The Federal Reserve cut the interest rate one-half point to 5.5 percent. Follow this developing story.
Then, determine what it will mean for you. Lower credit card rates? An opening to lease a new car?
Gracie says "It’s OK to smile, Gentle Heart."

Configure Your Notebook Computer
ESC Notebooks have desktop power and are lighter than an attach� case. When you are in a meeting, at your desk, on an airport, or waiting in a doctors office, you can connect to a network through 10/100 LAN connector or 56K v.90 modem connector.

Choose your ESC Notebook configuration.

Upgrade Memory
In case you haven’t checked recently, Crucial Memory prices dropped over a week ago. Go to www.escstore.com, then click on the Crucial Memory logo on the main page. Or just add it to your order in the ESC shopping cart.

Small Business Web Server
With today’s competitive business environment, you may want to consider adding a small business web server. You can have it in-house now that you have high-speed Internet connections available.

With your own web server, you can install software for a demo, and you have control of the individual server and its contents. Check out your options. ESC Technologies can build your web server.

Keeping Warm
Think ahead. Yes, snow and ice will come again. But, Spring follows, and that means fickle weather. Check out www.Patagonia.com for warm and safe gear for backcountry ski touring to multi-pitch climbing to warm-weather travel. For more, shop Men’s, Women’s, Kids’ and Luggage.


January 30, 2001

PC Builder Wizard
Let the ESC Wizard help you design and build your own PC or server. It comes complete with prompts and explanations, so you can make informed choices about which products work together.

Where to find a vendor
We know we don’t sell everything for everyone. We admit that you need to find a different vendor for some items. How do you find a product vendor on the Internet? It really depends on where you start, how adventurous you are, and what you already know.

Here are a few pointers:

First, know the manufacturer part number and description for the product. If you do not know this, visit the manufacturer website. Most manufacturers have specification sheets posted for their products.

Next, visit places like bizrate.com and gomez.com. They rank companies based on factors such as size of company, product selection, and customer satisfaction. Then there are bulletin boards or posts on places like resellerratings.org. You need to be a little careful with general posts.

Online shopping is promoted to be a price comparison Mecca. Tip: compare supports a vendor provides for the price you pay for your product.
It’s more than for price comparisons. You can find computer and component vendors who fit your special niche, are consultants, virtual stores, system builders, component resellers, super stores, and more. All have something to offer a particular buyer.

Places to go:

www.computershopper.com and many more�.

PC Buyer’s Zone
If you’re looking for tips on "How to" articles as are on whatisnew.com or our customer support site, check out pcbuyerszone.com. Many of the fundamental steps described daily here are in summary articles at pcbuyerszone.com.


January 23, 2001

Kids Leak Privacy Information over Internet
Do you know what information about your family that your son or daughter gives to others over the Internet? Do you think that your family name, address, and other information are secure when they use your computer? Perhaps you are among the 25 percent of parents who have children who do protect you and your information. Gracie hopes so, and encourages you to review this article with your child.

Happy New Year and Lunar New Year
We wish all a pleasant Chinese New Year and Lunar New Year. The Chinese New Year starts with the New Moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The 15th day of the new year is called the Lantern Festival, which is celebrated at night with lantern displays and children carrying lanterns in a parade. Learn more about this important date for about 20 percent of the earth’s population. Learn what animal represents you on the Chinese zodiac.


January 22, 2001

ASUS A7V133A Update
Looking for the ASUS A7V board with the new KT133A chipset? We’ll have it later this week. A7V133 comes with audio. ESC expects to offer the board for around $160.

Abit KT7A Availability
Will ESC offer the KT7A motherboard?

Yes, ESC is planning on offering the Abit KT7A motherboard. Right now, the product is in limited supply. ESC will offer it when it is more readily available.

Companions for Independent Living
You may want to bookmark this site. Canine Companions offers an invaluable service for people who want assistance to lead a normal daily life. Have you considered raising a dog for their program? Perhaps it will help a loved one at an unexpected time. Straight-Forward for Business or Home
Are you looking for a straight-forward, no-nonsense computer? Consider an all-in-one board, such as Intel’s D815EEAAL, ASUS’s CUSL2-M with LAN, or AOpen’s MX3S motherboard. They have onboard audio, video, and network connections. Perfect bases for a Windows ME or Windows 2000 operating system.


January 18, 2001

FIC AD11 On AMD Approved List for 266 MHz
Congratulations to FIC are in order. AMD approved the new new FIC AD11 motherboard for use with the furture AMD Athlon 266 MHz processor.

The FIC AD11 is starting to ship in the United States. The board is bundled with 128MB of PC2100 DDR-SDRAM memory. ESC offers the product bundle for $360.

AJ: Thank you for your attention. Gracie wants to read a statement.
Gracie: All of us at ESCT extend our condolences to the many families who lost loved ones in the recent earthquakes. We also want to encourage our four legged cousins working on the many search and rescue teams looking for victims of the quake. We praise their efforts and respect their courage. Keep your noses to the ground, dogs. Find. Find. Find.
AJ: Can I search, Gracie? I want to try.
Al: Many try, Kid, but few are chosen.
AJ: I want to try. Stella learned. I’ve got a good nose. Where do I learn more?
Gracie: Check the SAR database. Or, go to dogpile.com. Search for these words: canine search rescue.
Al: Good luck, kid. Paw salutes to you and our cousins.

Go Faster Fans, Awake!
It’s time again, to add to your racing fan schedule. The Grand Prix of Long Beach weekend in April offers the prospect of many colorful moments listening to finely tuned equipment buzz around the road course. For those who cannot attend, bookmark this address so you can follow the excitement on their website.


January 17, 2001

Tiny Tower
Yeong Yang is known for it’s popular Mini-Server Cube. Now, they have a Tiny Tower, which looks like it’s going to be just as popular as the Mini-Server.

You can use a Flex ATX or MicroATX motherboard in a Tiny Tower. ESC offers the case for $65. It comes with a 150 W SFX power supply.

Rolling Blackouts
Yes, ESC is in California. And yes, we’re in a Stage 3 Emergency again. If you’d like to read the notices issued for today, check out www.pge.com.

If /when our grid is turned off, we will be back as soon as possible. Online shopping system should not be affected.

Gracie: Why are all the flashlights in the dog-house?

AJ (guilty look, shaking): I – I – I’m preparing.

Gracie: AJ, it’s still day time! We’ll have sunlight for a few more hours.

Which Boards Work With AMD’s New Processors?
"Which motherboards work with the AMD Athlon processor? Which motherboards work with the AMD Athlon processor operating at 266 MHz FSB?"

These two questions topped our email and phone call list the last couple of days. Why? Motherboard manufacturers are announcing and releasing new product for AMD Athlon processors.


1. Current AMD Athlon processors use a "Socket A" to connect to the motherboard.

2. Computer systems using these processors operate at 200 MHz Front Side Bus (FSB).

3. Current motherboards supporting AMD Duron and Athlon processors use 168-pin SDRAM memory.

Changes occurring:

1. AMD will release an Athlon processor to work at 266 MHz FSB.

2. Motherboard manufacturers are designing product to work with Athlon processor working at 266 MHz FSB. (Late February to late March.)

2A. Motherboard manufacturers are designing product to work with a new VIA chipset, KT133A, which supports Socket A AMD Athlon� processors with a 200 MHz or 266 MHz Front Side Bus running at speeds of 1, 1.13, and 1.2GHz, PC133 SDRAM and VC133 DRAM.

2B. Motherboard manufacturers are designing product to work with a new VIA chipset, KT266, which supports Socket A AMD Athlon processors with a 200 MHz or 266MHz FSB, and supports up to 4.0GB of the latest high-speed DDR200/266 SDRAM at a peak bandwidth of 2.1GB per second.

2C. Motherboard manufacturers are designing product to work with AMD-760 (TM) chipset, of which the AMD-761 system controller supports Socket A AMD Athlon processors with 200 or 266 MHz FSB, and supports DDR-SDRAM at a peak bandwidth of 2.1GB per second. Note: Some motherboard manufacturers are using the AMD-761 controller combined with VIA PSIPC controller.


As with all new product developments, changes in products are in steps. Today, we have motherboards that use chipsets designed to support future processors. Adjustments will be made to many of these products as the products mature. To use a cliche, change is constant. Little advancements are constantly being added to products to improve them, then there is a jump to the next product type and that product is then modified slowly. This hybridization, if you will, is the impetus of change in the computer industry.

Where do you go for information about which motherboards to use for which processors? AMD.

AMD has an excelent overview of System Integration Steps and Recommended Motherboards. You may see the Recommended Motherboard list at: http://www1.amd.com/athlon/mbl. This page is updated as product changes occur.

Which products are available today?

– AMD Athlon processors 200 MHz FSB

– Epox EP-8KTA3 motherboard – using VIA KT133A chipset and PC133 SDRAM

– FIC AD11 motherboard bundled with 128MB nonECC PC2100 SDRAM – using AMD-760 chipset and DDR-SDRAM

– Gigabyte GA-7DXC motherboard – using AMD 761 controller and VT82C686B controller and PC1600 DDR-SDRAM. This motherboard supports 200 MHz FSB only.

Why do some of the new products say they support 200 MHz FSB only?

AMD Duron and Athlon processors that are available today are 200 MHz FSB. When AMD releases Athlon processors with 266 MHz FSB to manufacturers, testing and product development will continue.

Some motherboard manufacturers will release motherboards known and approved to work with current processors then release a second model for future products.

For instance, Gigabyte’s GA-7DXC is now shipping. A sticker is on the top of box marked, "This mainboard supports FSB200 CPU and DDR200 memory." Gigabyte and AMD have approved GA-7DXC revision 2.4 for use with the AMD Duron processor or AMD Athlon processors operating at 200 MHz FSB — processors that you can buy today.

Gigabyte will release the GA-7DX revision 3.0 (or higher) motherboard at a later date. The GA-7DX will support the 200 MHz FSB, and eventually will support the the future 266 MHz FSB. Note: GA-7DX revisions may change and BIOS updates may be issued.

Which products work with Athlon processors 266 MHz FSB?

Good question. As products are released and approved by AMD for use with this future product AMD will post their recommended list at http://www1.amd.com/athlon/mbl.


1. Buy what you will use today.

2. As you are shopping, make a list of compatible components. Use AMD.com and motherboard manufacturers as a resource. (Use ESCstore.com too.)

Sample Lists:

Processor – AMD Athlon 1.2 GHz and Cooler Master fan
Motherboard – FIC AD11 motherboard
Memory – 128MB PC2100 DDR memory (bundled with motherboard)….

Processor – AMD Athlon 900 MHz PIB (includes fan)
Motherboard – Epox EP-8KTA3 motherboard
Memory – 128MB nonECC PC133 SDRAM memory….

Take your time, read, ask questions, make lists. Then, when you receive your system you’ll be able to plug it in and go.

Lora is passionate about student access to technology and information, particularly 1:1 computing environments. Also, has strong interest in natural user input, user experience and interaction behavior patterns.

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